You want to hire the very best employees so you offer a salary that’s above the norm, a super benefits package, 4 weeks paid vacation and a fun and relaxed working environment full of free snacks and video games. Who’s going to turn down an offer like that?
78% of millennials, that’s who, because they believe there’s something more important than money and perks. They believe in social responsibility and if you don’t, you’re going to lose those great employees to a company that does.
According to the 2016 Cone Communications Employee Engagement Study, social and environmental responsibility are extremely important. Part of the reason is because there’s no longer much of a line between work hours and off hours. Employees say, if they’re going to spend a large portion of their lives representing a company, they want their work to mean something.
76% of millennials said would choose to work for a socially responsible company, even if it meant taking a pay cut. 75% say “it’s important their company shares its goals, progress and related achievements”, and they expect the company to come up with impactful activities for all employees.
That sounds like a lot of extra work for companies that are already stretched thin, but there’s an added benefit. Employees who are passionate about the company’s mission are often powerful public ambassadors influencing clients, customers and investors.
One volunteer day at a local charity is a good start, but it’s not exactly what the majority of employees are looking for in 2016. 63% are interested in micro-volunteering. This is where employees use their virtual skills to help a non-profit in small blocks of time. This could mean sending out social media messaging, cataloging data, updating a website or even building a charity app in their spare time.
More men were in favor of paid service leave programs that would allow them to commit several months to a non-profit without giving up their salary.
Social responsibility doesn’t only mean helping out a large non-profit. The employees in the survey felt strongly about helping their colleagues through tough times or with fund raising for personal charities.
As willing as they are to help, employees don’t want to work too hard to find out about opportunities. 43% would like to hear about options in a company newsletter with only 14% choosing social media. If you must go social, Facebook is the place with 57% of the vote.
Employees said they were willing to use social to spread the good word about your company efforts. 48% were even willing to share the credit through the use of a company hashtag.
Just remember, corporate responsibility must be more than a PR talking point. Choose charities that resonate with your company or your local community and encourage employees to brainstorm new ways to help. If you have a large number of employees, consider using a tool such as Benevity to manage and reward volunteerism and charitable contributions.